Are Sound Cards Still Relevant? Sound BlasterX AE-5

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The humble sound card was once the king of PC multimedia… Can Creative take back the crown from “good enough” onboard audio?

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Wheelie Blind says:

I used to like the soundblaster cards and wondered if it would make any difference if I added a card just like I put in a decent graphics card with a GPU. Are there any decent sound cards anymore?

veronicathecow says:

RGB lighting, never going to buy anything that has to rely on gimmicks like that.

Cryptomusic Bear says:

I understand why they put joystick ports on their old soundcards. Those were used way back in the day to control midi interfaces. You would by a joystick to midi adapter and you could control external gear. Makes sense for audio engineering.

I understand why they put a firewire port on their old soundcards. Firewire was a port that was mostly used with high end audio engineering gear. Makes sense for audio engineering.

I….dont understand the RGB.

How about an easy, quick 5.1 surround or even say 7.1, 12.2 or whatever, solution for home audio engineers. As it stands now, its not quite as accessible to home engineers as stereo is. I could take 6 outs on my Focusrite Saffire 40 and make a 5.1 bus, but that isnt easy/quick. I know its doable. Its just not as accessible.

Also, creative should look into ambisonics.

fernando says:

I would use this to boost power to wired headphones since mb might not have enough juice

TrashPanda 365 says:

I’m still rocking a Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion Sound Card! I think it’s pretty good!

Galavant says:

why does youtube keep recommending me 2 year old videos

lasarousi says:

This didn’t help my case of getting that integrated sound card is great, sorry with first party software like Asus sound control

google inc says:

sounds cards aren’t irrelevant if you want surround sound i guess, or you can just go dolby atmos which is just software

Grammar UN says:

Linus, you can connect the FP Audio to an external audio card! You even show the connector in your video at 1:28 – see the connector labelled HDA FP?

Bob Willett says:

Who is watching this in 2019?

Sam Spevak says:

3:44 it didn’t increase spacial awareness *puts hands over open back audezes*

wutgoddamit says:

Linus is getting closer to full-on Milo Stewart every day.

Eva Forsberg says:

is it worth havibg this if you have dts x2.0
pls answer I need to know

KrotowX says:

In fact nowadays all external sound cards are pretty much useless for gaming. AC97 and later Intel HDA unified audio interfaces and Windows Vista DRM extensions made all fancy audio hardware pretty much useless. And because players mostly use stereo headphones in gaming because of various reasons, real sound that they heard is plain stereo. The only sound card which ingame sound effects really touched me was Aureal Vortex 2 with A3D positioned sound. It was one and only sound card which created correct and real illusion of exact sound source position in 3D space including echoes and reverberations from walls and other surfaces around through ordinary stereo headphones. I nearly crapped myself in some System Shock 2 levels with enemies somewhere around 🙂 And yes, Vortex card was the first mainstream PC sound card with optical output which ruled out wiring noise and connection issues between PC and DV receiver in room. I’m very sad that Aureal lost in legal battle with Creative. I had some Creative FX cards with their EAX support later but EAX wasn’t able to create that 3D sound experience which A3D created. The worst thing was that A3D support in newer games disappeared shortly after Aureal lost and get assimilated by Creative. EAX even didn’t improved from that – what a loss.
Thanks about review anyway. It is funny to see that these things are still made. Though now their real value is only to have another funky lit block in translucent PC case.

John Sanabria says:

What’s with the finger nails lol

The Gamer Geek says:


toasteh says:


Nutellah says:

long audio jack needed? meh i got 3m cable *lol*

Roy Repie says:

Nice review linus…just about gonna buy a soundcard but not too expensive ^^.

rationalconscience says:

1:25 Nice finger nails, Linus. <3

Daniel Walters says:

Where Linus’s shilling was the Schitt!

Jubei says:

You don’t need that shitty having a decent motherboard , I’ve used AE-5 and compared with the inbuilt soundchip from a gigabyte z170 gaming 5 there are slighty differences

Modest Mewtwo says:


Unfiltered Truth says:

There is one massive advantage to sound cards from Creative Labs that you didn’t mention, DTS and Dolby Digital Live. Lately with copyright issues it’s hard to get some computers to output these sound formats(especially after Windows 10 Update 1803) which is blocking the ability to use these features on a computer. At least with Creative Labs they pay licensing fees for the right to use DTS and DDL so they include software for playing your games and movies with true DTS or DDL which is sooooooooooooo much more easier with a Creative Lab card than going online for hour trying to find a work around :(.

Daniel Mahoney says:

Anybody having trouble getting the lights settings to stick on the Sound Blaster Connect 2 software? When I turn on the lights, they go on, but if I restart the computer and the Sound Blaster Connect 2 software launches again, the lights don’t automatically go on. It’s annoying.

שקד בר אוריון says:

creative lab got these setreo 80 dollar speakers with subwoofer that are amazing

mario cebrian sanchez says:

No rgb? I’m done

thcollegestudent says:

I’m sure someone already mentioned…but by “joystick port” you mean “midi port,” yea?

Smackerlacker says:

I just realized that my speakers have a built-in DAC. I DO think I need more USB ports, though. I may fill up those slots, yet.

Roger Bergqvist says:

Turtle Beach sounded better but was more expensive back in 1996… ich..

Pola Nasralla says:

When you are sponsored by a watch and you are not even wearing jt

Daniel Beavers says:

I FARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cobra PL says:

It is worse than integrated Realtek, seriously ! Stereo separation is non-existeny (almost).

Aditya Singh says:

That’s smooth Schitt

James Herron says:

linus: We noticed that *S**T* Audio’s products…

drewski west says:

So are you saying this purchase for a laptop:

was basically a waste of money?

Mostlyharmless1985 says:

No. Video over.

Shawn Burton says:

do you actually get better gaming performance if you use a dedicated sound card than the motherboard’s integrated sound like you would with graphics? I do remember having to buy a sound card when I built my first PC in early 2001 which was a 1.0 ghz Pentium III with Windows ME because back then, a lot of motherboards didn’t have integrated audio.

Moonwaterz says:

EVGA Nu Audio review please

Djordje XO says:

I’d rather buy shit than a sound card.

RJ says:

One think that was not pointed out is that the internal sound card can be connected to a literal stereo setup whereas the headphone amp cannot. The main reason I use an internal sound card is to connect it to an external Klipsch promedia setup.

trex70 says:

850 Watt into an nearly empty Case haha

Danger Davis says:

Sound cards are still a thing?

honchoryanc says:

Why don’t sound cards have HDMI ports

shmizzle99 says:

I was hoping this would cover how the sound card effects microphone input. I have a high quality mic that would get a crap load of buzzing/backround noise on my PC. I installed a cheap sound card and that helped a bit, but I was curious to see if a better sound card would make audio input to the highest quality.

James McNamara says:

Did anyone else google schiit audio during the video to see if someone named their audio company schiit audio?

Sean Gillenwater says:

Sound Blaster Z and X, since Z, has a front panel audio plug jack that can be use instead of having plugged into the mother board which I found neat. But, perhaps Linus was referring to the jacks on the front of the case and not the internal plug for the front panel jacks not being grounded. Either way, I thought it was neat though I prefer speaker unless I were in a place I had to use head phones.

Giggles The Goat says:

Personally only ever used sound cards to allow more speakers. But even then it’s not like I don’t modify how they put out sound for a few hours either just to hear dialog in both movies and games.

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